Another trip by a London team to the Allianz Arena, another dominant Bayern Munich win.
The German giants beat Chelsea 4-1 on the night in their Champions League Last 16 second leg to make it a 7-1 aggregate win and set up a quarter-final tie against Barcelona. A double from Robert Lewandowski had goals by Ivan Perisic and Correntin Tolisso sandwiched in between them to see of Frank Lampard’s side, with Tammy Abraham scoring a tap-in for the Blues.
The performance from Hansi Flick’s men showed what many knew once football returned post-lockdown – they are the team to beat.
Manuel Neuer is nowhere near his prime anymore, but he’s still among the better goalkeepers in Europe and his leadership and distribution are arguably more important than his shot-stopping abilities with the way Bayern play. David Alaba has moved back into central defence to allow young Canadian Alphonso Davies to continue his development at left-back. That game time has seen Davies turn into one of the best, most exciting attacking full-backs in Europe and he’s now the undisputed first choice in that position. Jerome Boateng and Nicklas Sule compete for the slot alongside Alaba, while Benjamin Pavard is the regular right-back.
In midfield, the strongest duo in the double pivot is Thiago and Joshua Kimmich. However the options to use Javi Martinez, Leon Goretzka and Corentin Tolisso mean their depth is insane while in attack Coutinho, Perisic, Gnabry and Coman all compete to partner Thomas Muller and Robert Lewandowski.
With the Polish striker currently on 54 goals in 45 games, he is in the best goalscoring form of his career. Had the Ballon D’Or not been cancelled by France Football, Lewandowski would definitely be at the head of the queue to receive the biggest individual award in the game.
The fluidity the side play with, along with their ability to play in multiple styles without changing the personnel on the pitch gives them a huge advantage over most sides in the competition.
They have got arguably the toughest run to a final having beaten Chelsea already, they could now face Barcelona, Manchester City and either Atletico Madrid or PSG en route to winning the trophy. The fact games are now one-legged from this point on is a help to them because of the depth they have. The Bavarians are good enough and will want to add a third trophy to their season after the Bundesliga title and German Cup wins.
If anyone wants to win this Champions League trophy this season, I’d be willing to bet big money on them having to beat Bayern Munich on the way.